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Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
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DKI Jakarta, Indonesia
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City to hold first soccer tournament for '€˜rusunawa'€™ children

  • Dewanti A. Wardhani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Thu, October 1, 2015 | 03:45 pm

The Jakarta administration in cooperation with soccer community Uni Papua is planning to hold the first ever Rusun Cup for young boys and girls aged 13 to 16 living in rusunawa (low-cost apartments).

Children from 18 of the total 22 low-cost apartment blocks in Jakarta will participate in the competition, which will be staged from Oct. 24 to Nov. 8 in sports halls situated near the apartments. The grand final will be held in Soemantri Brodjonegoro sports hall in Kuningan, South Jakarta.

Governor Basuki '€œAhok'€ Tjahaja Purnama said that the city aimed to develop the children'€™s soccer skills and provide room for them to have fun and socialize with their peers from other parts of the city.

'€œThis tournament will be a place where children can have fun and develop their soccer skills,'€ Ahok told reporters at City Hall recently.

He went on to say that the city would make the competition an annual event by cooperating with private firms for funding. This year, the city cooperated with online ojek (motorcycle taxi) booking application GrabBike, Adamantis and PT Bangun Bina Bersama.

'€œWe will make this an annual event. Who knows, maybe one of these children has a potential to be a professional soccer player,'€ Ahok said, adding that Uni Papua would provide a coaching clinic for the children.

Head of sports development at the Youth and Sports Agency Ahmad Djazimi said that of the total 22 rusunawa in Jakarta, four would not participate in the tournament, namely Sukapura in North Jakarta, Jatinegara Barat, Pulo Jahe and Cipinang Muara, all in East Jakarta.

'€œSukapura and Pulo Jahe rusunawa lack tenants who have young children, while Jatinegara Barat and Cipinang Muara rusunawa only have a small number of tenants or have only moved in and are still settling down,'€ Ahmad said at the same occasion.

He said that the agency would prepare sports halls near to the home team'€™s rusunawa, for the tournaments.

Separately, Uni Papua chairman Maj. Gen. (ret) Albert Inkiriwang said it had invited not only local coaches but also those from Spain and Brazil to help train the children during the coaching clinic.

Albert said that the coaching did not only aim to teach the children soccer skills but also teamwork and character building.

'€œOf course the children will learn soccer, but most importantly we want to teach them character building. This competition is not about winning,'€ Albert said.

One participant, 14-year-old Maulana Ichsan Arfianto of Pesakih rusunawa in West Jakarta, said that he was overjoyed with the program and looked forward to competing in the tournament.

'€œI'€™m very excited. I always play with my friends at the rusunawa and I'€™m happy that we can play together against friends from other areas,'€ Arfi said.

Recently the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) inspected Jatinegara Barat rusunawa , dubbed one of the best rusunawa in town, and criticized the city administration for the environment that he said was not child friendly.

The apartment block did not have a playground, which forced children to play with whatever facilities they have, including the apartment'€™s elevators without adult supervision, it said.

The commission also pointed out a lack of safety facilities such as iron bars for windows that could prevent children from falling.